AN ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE EDUCATIONAL SITE.
Affluent, industrial consumer society is grossly unjust and unsustainable. It is only possible for one-fifth of the world’s people to have that way of life because they are taking and rapidly using up most of the world’s resources. We must move to far less affluent lifestyles, highly self-sufficient communities and local economies, more cooperative ways, and an economy that is not driven by market forces or profit and has no growth at all. Pigface Point is being developed as an educational site that will introduce people to these themes, especially the existence of workable and attractive alternatives, i.e., to "The Simpler Way".
Some themes, items, displays etc observable.
· Displays and diagrams showing global resource scarcities and distributions, especially re C02 emissions and petroleum.
· Low dollar and resource living costs per capita.
· Self-sufficiency, do-it-yourself, home-made things, living simply.
· Significance of hand tools, and e.g. pedal-powered grinder.
· Earth building; animal sheds illustrating different techniques, mud brick making.
· A small low cost house (built to council standards in 1989 for $8,000.)
· Gardens, animals, poultry, sheep, goats, bee hives. (Fish tanks soon.)
· Various arts and crafts, include sculpture, painting, model making, blacksmithing, wood turning, bush carpentry, pottery, stone work, candle making, paper making, leather work, rush and basket work. Home-made large ornamental garden pots and columns.
· “Non-alienated” labour; collapse of the work/leisure distinction.
· The sort of neighbourhood workshop we should have on every suburban block.
· Overlaps; e.g., how the garbage disposal problem can solve the fertiliser problem.
· Environmental connections; ecologically appropriate ways. Environmental sensitivity items; e.g., walks along the scale of the planetary system, and the evolutionary time scale.
· Some Permaculture themes, including organic gardening, composting, zoning, stacking, zero-energy inputs, integration of animals, tree crops, forest-gardens, seed saving, propagation, water plants.
· Recycling, using local waste material, scavenging, a recycling area.
· Rough but adequate standards; things that are convenient and functional but not elegant. Cheap and simple things are often quite good enough.
· Implications for Third World development; illustration of appropriate technologies, economies and systems for resource poor regions.
· The crucial importance of local economic self-sufficiency.
· Models showing the way neighbourhoods could be redesigned to become highly self-sufficient, and the basic form of a highly self-sufficient 1000 person rural village, with very low “footprint” implications.
· Principles for the new economy required, especially localisation and large non-monetised sectors (e.g., commons.)
· Extensive landscaped leisure areas, showing how neighbourhoods could be made “leisure-rich”, stocked with active and passive sources of recreation, (e.g., flying fox, ropes, caves, castles…)
· Various alternative technologies, including solar panels, windmills, garbage gas, water wheels (one 4.5 metres tall), solar panels, water wheels driven by river tides, pelton wheel, teaspoon turbine, two windmills, one home-made on a 17 metre tower, 12 volt electrical circuits and machinery. Soon to add a solar thermal technologies section, including Stirling engines, trough, dish and central receiver system working models, solar chimney model, distilling, light pipes, fresnel lenses, and stem power. Water recycling, e.g., via reedbeds.
· Above all, to show that the required simple and self-sufficient way of life could be highly interesting and rewarding. Many people mistakenly assume the “limits to growth” case means we must make sacrifices and reduce our “living standards” in order to solve global problems. They do not realise that The Simpler Way is about liberating ourselves from consumer society (in which we work about three times too hard) and providing a better quality of life for all.
The site is 20 Km from the centre of Sydney, approximately 35 minutes travel including train and 10 min walk. We mostly conduct 2-3 hour guided tours, although longer activities can be arranged in view of group needs. The tours are suitable for primary school groups. We are especially interested in lasting contacts with people teaching tertiary courses and are keen to adapt our presentation to their needs.
The site is especially relevant to teachers dealing with sustainability, global justice, economics, global problems, social criticism and alternatives and social change
Half or whole day events for special groups are arranged, including discussions of issues, practical activities (e.g., introduction to some crafts), and a communal lunch.
There is no charge for the tours or courses we conduct.
For detailed analyses and documentation on themes dealt with, see The Simpler Way website, thesimplerway.info/
If you would like to join the occasional guided tours, or arrange to bring a class or group, contact
Ted Trainer, firstname.lastname@example.org 0407011149